Belmont County has recently announced that the County Run Animal Shelter may no longer take in cats.
Officials say it’s a matter of finances, it’s not something they like, but it’s an effort to cut expenses and right now they’re dealing with a lot of them.
We sat down with Belmont County Commission President, Mark Thomas, and he explained there are a lot of things happening county-wide and they need to figure out how to pay for it all.
Recently the Belmont County Jail had to ship 30 of their inmates to neighboring Jefferson County, due to over crowding, and that comes with a hefty price tag, “It costs us $72 per day, on an average, to house a prisoner in the Belmont County Jail. We’re maxed out, we have no choice, but to transport a minimum of 30 inmates to the Jefferson County Jail,” Thomas said and alone is costing taxpayers $50 thousand per month for three months.
We also live in an area with an aging infrastructure and the commission is trying to find a way to provide residents with more reliable services, “As president of the board, yesterday I signed an application with the USDA, we’re going to borrow up to $50M over a 40 year period at a fixed interest rate that’s going to be around 2%.”
Renovations on the county courthouse are wrapping up. Thomas said he’s very proud that project hasn’t cost taxpayers a penny, “When we take a look at that beautiful building and its completion and to say the taxpayers didn’t have to pay a dime to renovate that, we’re pretty proud of that,” Thomas concluded.
There’s also the issue with cats at the county animal shelter, “We have no funding to take care of these cats and as much as you don’t want to turn them away, the commissioners also have to weigh where other funds need to go,” Thomas said.
The Belmont County commission is also trying to be proactive in anticipation of future possible developments, which could give the economy across the Ohio Valley a nice surge.